Mealtime can be stressful for parents and kids. Breakfast is typically a frenzied rush. At night, add exhaustion and homework, and dinner can be a disaster. Here’s your MomTini recipe for success:
- Win the battle: Parents should decide “what” and “when,” and kids should decide “if.” Don’t become a short order cook every night of the week. Kids won’t starve!
- Plan in advance to reduce stress. A guest post by a local Dad had great tips on getting the kids involved in “pre-ordering” lunches. Check out Mike’s Lunch Order Form (PDF) to get your kids to think ahead – it’s a great skill to teach early on, and will significantly reduce your stress during the post-dinner chaos zone.
- Engage kids’ help in preparing and serving the meal in a fun/creative way.
- Model health and nutrition habits – Resist the old adage, “Do as I say, not as I do.” Childhood obesity is reaching crisis levels, and it’s critical that we teach our kids good eating habits early. Try putting healthy snacks out before the kids get home from school.
- Find kid-friendly recipes – Jessica Seinfeld (Jerry’s wife) published a great book, Deceptively Delicious, which was featured on Oprah. She masterfully hides healthy ingredients in kid-friendly foods.
- Share the burden – Consider creative ways to share the burden with neighbors and friends. Maybe you can develop a “co-op” of sorts where a set of neighbors takes turns preparing large meals and split food up among members.